Tuesday, June 22, 2021

New Poetry by Claire Watson


His kind invitations were always declined;
the most he expected were gruff pleasantries.
He piled up his money to form golden shrines.

If the Romans asked six he charged people nine,
then fiddled with figures and pocketed three.
His kind invitations were always declined.

On the Jericho streets, he was pushed down the line;
when he could not see Jesus he climbed up a tree.
He piled up his money to form golden shrines.

‘No, I’m not fooling. The honour is mine.
Now get down, Zacchaeus. I’m coming to tea.’
His kind invitations were always declined.

Zacchaeus raced home and selected the wine.
The meal was eclipsed by sublime company.
He piled up his money to form golden shrines.

He drank of God’s favour, his wealth lost its shine,
and his heart was released from its grim poverty.  
His kind invitations were always declined.
He knocked down his altar and scattered the shrines. 

- © Claire Watson 2021

Claire Watson is a Salvation Army Officer who turned to poetry after the death of her daughter, Hannah, in 2014. Her memoir, Fingerprints of Grace, was published in 2017, and her poems have been published by Meniscus, Quadrant, Hunter Writers Centre, and Friendly Street Poets. She lives in Murray Bridge, South Australia. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

New Poetry by Mark Danowsky


If I was a woman 
I likely would have died 
In the same situation
I lucked through 

Broken eggshells
Carefully swept aside 

I tried protector 

Up latest 
Awake first 

Staying up with our dog 

The cat making do
With attitude 

I played every role I could 
Never well enough

My own frailties 
Shining through  

You knew them all 
& pushed each button 

Breaking them down 
Stuck in 

You went 
I stayed behind 
Then traveled back to 

Then tragic

We could not help 
Ourselves apart 

On your open porch 
In view of the elements
& sometimes strangers 
We would laugh together

What insisted—
Take it all away?

All that anger turned inward
Stole our future 

I did it wrong, you know 

I told you I would save you 
When I could not

- © Mark Danowsky 2021

Mark Danowsky is Editor-in-Chief of ONE ART: a journal of poetry and Senior Editor for Schuylkill Valley Journal. He is author of the poetry collection As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press). His work has appeared in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Cleaver Magazine, Gargoyle, The Healing Muse, and elsewhere. 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

New Poetry by Michele Seminara

North Facing 

This house has — too many — windows:
anyone can see in.
It’s one of those houses
people stroll through the back door —

they feel free.

This house was not chosen
by me but by my husband 
and father who pronounced it to be 
a fine, solid, master-built house
(built by masters who morph into monsters).

It opens benignly to the morning sun, turning
in the right direction (I’m told)
I should be grateful I am
not which makes me —

This house has two storeys, two stories,
the down stairs unrolling like a fiery tongue 
I was always afraid to be pushed down.

But now that the opening is closing (touch wood) 
I’ve begun to write over the holy hole 
we punched in the door of hell.

(They say suffering is good for you; I can’t tell.)

This is not my home. I don’t live here. 
I abide in the safe house my mind 
has constructed from word-wood.  
Only I can enter the back door:
others must knock.
If I choose not to be home, I’m not.

But here, my face faces
painfully outwards, over-
exposing its north-lit bits,
here, there is only one
room to hide in, one
secret space
in which to sit,
and this, this 
gash of a poem,
this is it. 

- © Michele Seminara 2021

Michele Seminara is a Sydney poet and chief editor of online literary journal Verity La. "North Facing" is the opening poem in Michele's latest collection, "Suburban Fantasy", currently available for pre-order through UWAP. Just click on the link:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

New Poetry by John Tustin

The Water's Edge

I see me at the edge of the water:
I am on my haunches,
Taking water into my cupped hands
And watching it flow through them.

I keep doing it, mildly interested.
I am learning nothing,
My hands keep busy,
My mind is filled with trivialities

As I fail to mark the time
And the water fills, falls away,
Fills, falls away.
I see me at the water’s edge.

- © John Tustin 2021

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

New Poetry by Kitty Jospé

What We Don’t

control, is the web of events
that will press on these young men
back from the war as they
start a teaching career,
marry lively wives…

and what you don’t
guess, is what is behind
this joke with a roll
of toilet paper—
my Dad sitting as straight
as Osiris holding the scroll
for his pal to paint…

and what you don’t
hear is the clink of glass
bottles of beer —

and what I hope you, reading what I wrote, 
might understand, is the mystery
that a shot showing a side of my father
I never knew, cracks my heart open
to love him even harder.

- © Kitty Jospé 2021

Since 2004, Kitty switched from teaching French, turning her work as docent into explorations of ekphastics, and pursued workshops and an MFA in poetry. (received in 2009 from Pacific University, OR)  Since Feb. 2008, she started  weekly sessions to help people to be more attentive readers and increase appreciation of good poems. Her 6th book, Sum:1 appeared in March 2021,  http://www.foothillspublishing.com/2021/jospe.html

Monday, June 07, 2021

New Poetry by Elan Radousky

Wrapping Paper 

A small imaginary being 
carved out of human form 
and gifted to a world 
that has magical powers
when she believed 
she had gold fairies growing
down at the bottom of her 
very frilly dress 
of uncut roses and
pressed seaweed
anointed in green olives 
from some foreign realm
of promised jars.

- © Elan Radousky 2021

Elan Radousky enjoys writing poetry, juggling objects, and most types of fruits and vegetables. His poems have appeared in Eunoia Review, Right Hand Pointing, and One Sentence Poems. Some of Elan’s Poetry (and comics) can be discovered over at his website Lagoticmoon.com.  

New Poetry by Dale Cottingham

Fruit In Season   

Well darlings, morning again.
Time to get up and try some new steps.
We distaste the old way, the emulated way,
those lines we read that were elegant, intelligent
for as long as their taste lasted.

But now I’m working up these eggs,
toasting toast, putting out
my own version of cinnamon biscuits and
a little sorghum on the side.

And out the window, some jays
singing in trees. Who knows if their voices will carry.
who knows what their songs mean.
It’s their time, their songs.

It all seems to contribute:
the early summer heat, the clouds portending something,
the dew berries we planted in hope
that they’ll give fruit in season.

- © Dale Cottingham 2021

Dale Cottingham is of mixed race, part Choctaw, part White. He has published poems and reviews of poetry collections in many journals.  He is a Breadloafer, won the 2019 New Millennium Award for Poem of the Year, and is a finalist in the 2021 Great Midwest Poetry Contest.  He live in Edmond, Oklahoma. 


Sunday, June 06, 2021

New Poetry by William G. Davies Jr

The Death of a Mermaid on the Susquehanna River

Her bones,
bleached timbers
splayed over
a caisson of rock
where the dark horses
of the river
lunge toward the sea
but her red hair
has enveloped
a pair of bluegills
as they flit
about the silt
in whose creature
has lent her halo
though a ring
around a murky moon.

- © William G. Davies Jr. 2021

William is a 66 year old purveyor of the mundane, the fellow at the dinner table who might imagine a face staring back at him from within the gristle on a pork chop. He was able to glean from these observations a slim volume of poems; "Before There Were Bones" published by Prolific Press in 2015. He has been published by numerous literary journals such as The Wilderness House Literary Review, The Cortland Review and of course, the "pepper" to which he is humbly indebted. William has been married to the same woman for 47 years and accepts increasing delight in the longevity of his marriage compact. William's Pastor recently suggested that his voice would do for audible books what John Glenn did for the space program. He lists this as a peculiar accolade but one consistent with his craft.